POLICY BRIEF: The Technology Mechanism under the UNFCCC: Ways Forward

POLICY BRIEF: The Technology Mechanism under the UNFCCC: Ways Forward

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Author: CDKN
Organisation: Climate Strategies
Tags: green growth, low carbon economy, low carbon energy

Different visions about how to accomplish the development and transfer of technologies have been deterring international agreement on the issue for a number of years. In 2010, however, as part of the Cancún Agreements, the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC decided to establish a Technology Mechanism to facilitate the implementation of actions for enhancing technology development and transfer to support mitigation and adaptation activities in developing countries, including research, development, demonstration, deployment, diffusion and transfer of technology, and based on nationally determined technology needs (UNFCCC 2010).

The Technology Mechanism opens an enormous opportunity to create tools that truly contribute to the development and transfer of technology in its broader sense and through national and regional actions. In this policy brief, we briefly review literature on international technology interventions and innovation systems with the aim of suggesting ways by which the Technology Mechanism can support activities within the areas of work defined in the Cancún Agreements.

This briefing paper, The Technology Mechanism under the UNFCCC: Ways Forward, highlights the main opportunities that the Technology Mechanism established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) may bring to the development and transfer of technologies and recommends ways forward for the success of the mechanism. Making use of the academic and institutional literature on innovation and technology cooperation, this paper reviews potentially effective international interventions in national innovation systems. This is crucial to understanding the type of activities that the Technology Mechanism could support and the importance of establishing a balanced governance for the mechanism to assure that those activities are supported and implemented.

The paper is part of the CDKN-funded project, Fostering low-carbon technology innovation and transfer: an in-depth study, which aims to broaden and refocus national and international policy agendas in order to improve prospects for enhancing technology development, diffusion and transfer. It was designed to translate the latest academic insights into policy, explore national and international instruments for advancing technology (including the emerging UNFCCC Technology Mechanism and bilateral initiatives), and examine technology value chains as case studies of where action could be taken.

Further reading:

Project homepage: Fostering low-carbon technology innovation and transfer: an in-depth study
Policy brief: Low carbon technology for the rising middle class
Policy brief: Innovation for Climate-Compatible Development for the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’
Policy brief: Innovation systems in developing countries

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